Paris Travel Guide
Whilst planning a Paris trip with three friends I realized that we were going to be the ultimate tourists as we wanted to see all the sights within four days, no pressure there then!
Looking online I came across the Paris Pass which I cannot recommend enough. This gives you access to museums and most historical sites such as Versailles and also allows you to queue jump at a lot of them which is invaluable when you have so little time. It also includes a Big Bus ticket and access to all methods of transport such as the metro etc. Best of all it has a booklet which contains all the information you could possibly need and it is pocket size so fits in your handbag!
So we booked into the Mercure Eiffel Tour Hotel which is five minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower. This was because for our first day we had booked to go up the Eiffel Tower at 1pm online so we didn't have to queue and then we had booked dinner in Eiffel 58 Restaurant for 6:30pm. Twice up the Eiffel Tower in one day! I absolutely loved going up the Eiffel Tower, such great views, even though the champagne bar at the top was a little disappointing, it is literally just a kiosk, but I guess there isn't much room up there for anything else!
To pre-book tickets for access to the Eiffel Tower and no need to queue, the website is:
Eiffel 58 was enjoyable, there is a menu choice and we opted to pay extra for champagne with our meal. However, it seemed to take us ages to drink it and luckily we were allowed to move tables and continue to sit in the restaurant when the second sitting came in at 8:30pm because we hadn't finished it. So our first table had views over the Seine and our second table had views of the inside of the Eiffel Tower which was beginning to light up for the evening - just lovely!
The website for the Eiffel 58 Restaurant is:
It was a lovely day, totally concentrating on the Eiffel Tower but it really is just so interesting and iconic and it is great to see it in the day and then the night.
Second day we decided to get up fairly early and walk over to the Trocadero to take some photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background. We got there around 9am and there wasn't that many people around at that time, and got some really good photos on our Olympus Pen Pl8s yay! Recommend doing photos from the steps area, see below for the results.
From Trocadero we got on the Big Bus to go to Notre Dame to get breakfast. The Big Bus stops and picks up directly outside Notre Dame and is included in the Paris Pass. We went inside to look around and decided that we would like to climb the 402 steps up to the roof to see the views and the gargoyles. To be able to do this there is a machine outside and you take a ticket with a time on it. Might be wise to get this ticket before going inside to look around as you could be waiting an hour. Or you could do what we did and sit in the café opposite drinking a glass of champagne! Tickets can also be pre-booked via the JeFile app.
I really enjoyed seeing the gargoyles and the views as you can see from the photos below. Definitely recommend doing this! Also there is a belfry and you can see the Emmanuel bell.
From Notre Dame we caught the Big Bus and went to the Arc de Triomphe. The Paris Pass lets you queue jump which is invaluable if you are short on time as the queues can be quite long. You can access the roof via 284 steps. The panoramic views are lovely across the avenues (arrondissements) and you can also see the Eiffel Tower.
That evening we were going to the Moulin Rouge so went back to our hotel near the Eiffel Tower to get ready. We had booked a table for 9pm with champagne and went to a restaurant closeby for dinner beforehand. As we did not book dinner we were seated on the first floor at the side which had a really good view of the stage. To be honest I found the show to be a mixed bag of campness. But I loved the traditional Can Can that was very good. I am unable to post pictures of the show as they do not allow pictures to be taken inside.
There are plenty of bars and nightclubs outside once the show has finished if you would like to carry on. We found a great irish bar next door!
The following day we did the River Seine cruise (included in the Paris Pass) which was perfect for a hangover day! Also went for a wander alongside the Seine and saw the iconic Princess Diana memorial. In the evening we went to Montmartre for dinner with some more friends at Le Consulate.
On our final day of sightseeing we went to the Palace of Versailles. We went fairly early as we were using the Paris Pass and the booklet advises to get there by 10am to get in, and there was a huge queue but seemed to move fairly fast. It is lovely wandering around the Palace but it can get a bit claustrophobic as there are just so many people there. There is an Angelina restaurant in there where you can have lunch like we did. Think my favourite thing was the Versailles gardens which are just gorgeous. You have to pay extra to get in the gardens, the Paris Pass does not include this, but it is worth every penny.
After Versailles we headed to the Moulin Rouge to get on the Petit Train de Moulin which takes you up to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur. I love Montmartre for its lovely iconic bars and restaurants. I loved posing outside the La Maison Rose and other cute shop fronts. It is very touristy but still enjoyable and there is a great view from the Sacre Coeur.
From Montmartre we went to the Montparnasse Tower for our final panoramic view of Paris. I enjoyed this as we arrived just before sunset so you can see all of Paris changing from day to night and all the beautiful lights coming on. Definitely recommend doing this if you would like to see a complete panorama of Paris there are lots of maps explaining which part of Paris you are looking at and of course you can see the Eiffel Tower!
I really enjoyed our lovely four days in Paris. Although next time I go, I think it will be a much more laid back affair and will probably stay in Marais and just enjoy the restaurants, museums and cafes!